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Young people in Hackney Marshes help deliver thousands of meals during coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 11:46 16 July 2020

Volunteers have delivered over 8,000 meals and over 800 bags of shopping during the pandemic. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

Volunteers have delivered over 8,000 meals and over 800 bags of shopping during the pandemic. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

Concorde Youth Hub

Young people from a youth club near Hackney Marshes have been making sure people don’t go hungry throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The team of young volunteers have been working with Made Up Kitchen and the community effort has seen organisations donate food supplies to the project. Picture:  Concorde Youth HubThe team of young volunteers have been working with Made Up Kitchen and the community effort has seen organisations donate food supplies to the project. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

Made Up Kitchen, Formerly People’s Kitchen and known for its community feasts, has been working with a team of young people at Concorde Youth Hub to provide nutritious meals for people in need.

Joyclen Buffong from Hackney Marsh partnership and Concorde Youth Hub said: “We work in a deprived area in Hackney but this project is not about that. This is about everyone coming together and connecting and supporting each other as best they can, as [the pandemic] has affected many people in different ways.”

In addition to hot meals they project has been providing fruit and vegetables to people struggling during the pandemic. Picture: Concorde Youth HubIn addition to hot meals they project has been providing fruit and vegetables to people struggling during the pandemic. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

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The community effort has seen organisations like the Felix Project, Edible London and GMG Gudwara donate produce to the initiative and volunteers have delivered over 8,000 meals and over 800 bags of shopping.

Young people who have volunteered say the work has helped with feelings of islationa and improved their mental health. Picture: Concorde Youth HubYoung people who have volunteered say the work has helped with feelings of islationa and improved their mental health. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

“The community has been overwhelmed by the support they have received and the young people enjoy supporting members of their community and have connected with them in a very positive way. The young people and everyone involved are very passionate about this support.”

Joyclen said the youth club members participating in the food project have spoken about the benefits of volunteering and how helping others has improved feelings of isolation and mental health.

Young people from Concorde Youth Hub in near Hackney Marshes have been volunteering to deliver meals to members of their community. Picture: Concorde Youth HubYoung people from Concorde Youth Hub in near Hackney Marshes have been volunteering to deliver meals to members of their community. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

“Concorde is a very important place for hundreds of young people and it was troubling to them when it was just shut down so abruptly.

“But we have been keeping in constant contact with them through weekly calls, delivering sessions via zoom, documenting the work we have been doing and sharing it through social media platforms,” said Joyclen.

Concorde Youth Hub has set up a fundraiser to raise money for the project. Picture: Concorde Youth HubConcorde Youth Hub has set up a fundraiser to raise money for the project. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

She added: “[Young people] like Marvin, Femi, Jermaine, Razak, Ryan, Nyah and Africa have been instrumental in how successful this project continues to be as they all volunteer for a number of hours twice a week to make it happen. This project has grown and grown into something so beautiful for all involved.”

Joyclen Buffong, Made Up Kitchen’s Kiran Chahal and the young volunteers deliver hot meals and fresh fruit and vegetables to Hackney residents every Thursday and Saturday.

The volunteers have been doing food deliveries for several months to Hackney residents every Thursday and Saturday. Picture: Concorde Youth HubThe volunteers have been doing food deliveries for several months to Hackney residents every Thursday and Saturday. Picture: Concorde Youth Hub

Learn more about the project at www.madeupkitchen.co.uk

To donate to the project click here

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